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PalmSource joins open-source group

PalmSource, which owns the rights to the Palm operating system, said on Monday that it has joined the Open Source Development Labs.

PalmSource, which owns the rights to the Palm operating system, said on Monday that it has joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) as a founding member of the group's Mobile Linux Initiative. The membership will give Sunnyvale, Calif.-based PalmSource more credence in its quest to create a Linux-Palm operating system hybrid that PalmSource started when it finalized its acquisition of China MobileSoft this year. PalmSource recently agreed to be acquired by Japan's Access.

The Mobile Linux Initiative was set up to address the growing number of open-source handheld devices. Gartner estimates that there will be 2.6 billion mobile phones in use worldwide by the end of 2009. The Palm OS is finding its way into more smart phones, the company said. About 44 percent of units shipped over the summer were wireless handhelds, compared to 21 percent this time last year. Traditional handhelds now make up 56 percent of PalmSource's business, the company said.